What Exactly Happened On SpaceX’s First Starship Launch Attempt?

What Exactly Happened On SpaceX’s First Starship Launch Attempt?

From Starhopper, to SN5, to the 10km flights, today we finally got to see a full Starship launch attempt, and it did not disappoint. For years now SpaceX has been developing, testing, building, and preparing for this first test flight of Starship. While not perfect, it absolutely cleared the pad and gathered a host of invaluable data for the teams at SpaceX.

With this test now complete, we know the company is headed straight to the drawing board as they prepare for the next attempt with significantly upgraded hardware. Here I will go more in-depth into what happened on this first attempt, where the issues arose, what to expect in the near future, and more.

For more space-related content check out – https://thespacebucket.com/

SpaceX – https://www.youtube.com/c/SpaceX
NASA – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLA_DiR1FfKNvjuUpBHmylQ
LabPadre – https://twitter.com/LabPadre

0:00 – Intro
0:34 – Starship Launch Overview
4:06 – Pad Damage & Next Launch

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39 Responses

  1. Brandt Redd says:

    If you can trust the engine diagram in the lower-left of the screen, it launched with three engines out, lost a fourth (the explosion noted by the narrator), a fifth was lost around the time of Max Q, then a sixth shortly thereafter (as noted by the narrator). What they didn’t seem to notice is that one of the six came back online; it was the last one to go offline and you see the engine indicator light up again about the time the video cuts to the shot of the second-stage engines. Now, that could have been a sensor problem – showing an engine offline that was actually operating (or visa-versa). Or, it may be that they have the ability to restart an engine in-flight. I would love to know which.

    • starpawsy says:

      @Repent and believe in Jesus Christ Not relevant.

    • Truth Be Told says:

      Russian rocket builders are laughing very hard today. American rocket goes “big badda-boom”.

    • Repent and believe in Jesus Christ says:

      Repent to Jesus Christ “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”
      ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭8‬:‭3‬-‭4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    • starpawsy says:

      You can see in the telephoto that the engine did indeed reignite.

    • Kyle Correia says:

      Why are they so unreliable?

  2. Shannon Lawhorn says:

    One thing to note – according to the SpaceX info bar, Super Heavy was very low or out of lox by the time of the RUD. Looked to me that stage separation failed and then super heavy preformed it’s flip for burn back but with Starship still attached it over rotated and began spinning.

    • Repaid 1 says:

      @Daniel Brown I don’t know about being well developed (Correct spelling BTW: Centrifugal force), but it is well tested and used on the Falcon Aircraft during most of it’s missions. The active version, Falcon 9 Block 5, has flown 162 missions, all full successes. The ejection/separation happens in the first second or two of the rotation and is aided with other systems(Hydraulic for one)and basically amounts to a “Fling” of the forward aircraft all very specifically calculated. BTW I have three engineering degrees but retired before Space X was even a thing, but would have loved to be a part of this whole endeavor. 😏

    • THX 1138 says:

      @Truth Be Told I don’t know why….The N1 was never as successful as today’s launch.

  3. Gustas Vindziulis says:

    I heard that spacex will need some excavation work for the pad to build a fire trench/water deluge system, starship did half of the work for them

    • jactrading says:

      The rocket was dead by the time it left the pad. The damage was done by getting hit by a pyroclastic flow of concrete from 400 million horsepower. Deluge , and flame diverter systems required…

    • Tim P says:

      My understanding was they couldn’t have a trench at that location due to unstable ground

    • anydaynow says:

      Yep although this is just a test complex, they should have had some armor over the concrete, especially after the damage from the test firings. Maybe they thought it would be good enough for the initial launch and they would beef it up later since all they were really waiting for was an okay from the FAA.

    • Unknown Error says:

      Even if its still covered vibration could cause issues in seals?

  4. Chris Long says:

    It looked to me like the separation couldn’t occur due to the stresses between the two stages where they were probably bumper locked.
    From the video between the two stages, there were moments where one could see light shining through between the two, so I’m guessing they were trying to separate but couldn’t.

  5. Fred Sexton says:

    Great summary and information. Thank you for getting this video up so quickly. I’ve been reading a lot post launch, and it looks like a consensus is that with so many engines out, starship wasn’t able to achieve the desired altitude in order to go for separation.

    • Fly Crack says:

      @Northern Samba
      With your Pseudo moralic you are just above us.

      Your moralic Highground is so far ahead, its amazing.

      Your moralic presence alone is saving all the homeless people.

      Your moralic words are just top of the top.

      But your moralic Samba is saving mankind.

      Really moralic

    • Northern Samba says:

      @Fly Crack Do learn to spell the word “moralistic” properly. But then most should just ignore a fly caught in a crack.

    • Fly Crack says:

      @Northern Samba no one is holding you back to do so. But giving fake pseudo moralic comments then actually doing something is so much easier.

    • 108 says:

      @Aunt Teefa Hey, Aunt Teefa! 39A is for Falcon rockets only. Superheavy/Starship requires completely unique launch infrastructure – actually a “Stage 0,” as it is far more complex than even the rockets that will launch from it. SpaceX is building a Stage 0 near pad 39A, but far enough away from it that any worst-case launch anomalies will (hopefully) not affect 39A.

    • Northern Samba says:

      A success in separation of the homeless and those living in perpectual poverty, to a life of hope would be a real achievement.

  6. Bellissimo says:

    The fact that this monstrous thing basically flew what looked like a looping, without breaking apart, is totally mindblowing to me. The structural integrity and stability of this behemoth is surprising and very impressive!

    • James Kelly says:

      @Ric  Yes, I watched it live.
      And what you mean to say is “in case it succeeded.”
      which it did not succeed. Not succeeding is fail.
      There’s nothing wrong with failing. that’s how people and machines get better.
      But people are too afraid to call it what it is.
      I’m sick of this “participation trophy” crap.

    • James Kelly says:

      You’re right. 10 mins before launch, the “stated goal”was to clear the tower.
      But last week, the ” stated goal” was a sub-orbit flight.
      What changed?

    • Ric says:

      ​@James Kelly had you even watched the stream? They had stated multiple times that their main goal was just to clear the pad, of course they would have people stationed in Hawaii because they have to be prepared Incase it goes really well

    • James Kelly says:

      @pigslefats  Nope. I’m a die-hard space lover.
      And watching people celebrate a rocket explosion is cringe AF.
      The FAA is going to demand answers, and no additional flight licenses will be issued until they are satisfied.
      This is a major setback for Starship.
      That’s not worth celebrating.

    • pigslefats says:

      @James Kelly You’re a troll

  7. Chuck Hammock says:

    Space Bucket, as a mechanical engineer and space nerd,@less than 5 hours after launch, you are damn near the best to have produced an edit video this quick! Thanks!!!

    • Serron Serron says:

      I’m afraid we’re not going to see another launch this year. At the rate that they’re producing Raptor 2 and having to replace faulty ones.

  8. MrVolodus says:

    That structural strength … amazing!

    • Repent and believe in Jesus Christ says:

      Repent to Jesus Christ “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”
      ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭8‬:‭3‬-‭4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    • Cracksüchtiger Pockenaffe! says:

      Early rockets from the 1950/1960s usually broke apart on such maneuvers.

    • Marcelo Rodrigues says:

      @El Fez Yes, it was really amazing. Steady as on the pad.

    • JPGV Studio says:

      Maybe that’s the partial reason why it didn’t separate too, idk..

  9. Laerei says:

    It was incredibly exciting to watch and I loved the crowd reaction at SpaceX as the rocket disassembled in a rapid manner. There was an audible “Awww” followed by absolutely roaring “YYYEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!”! Man is rocket science exciting stuff and no matter what happens, everyone is happy as long as no one is hurt, hehehe.

  10. TheAstronomer says:

    This was very exciting. Glad it made it that far and hope that the next test will be a complete success.

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